The Striving Styles Personality System shows how we can take greater control of our mental health. Mental health was originally defined as the absence of mental illness. The World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". Therefore, self-awareness is indeed the key to creating mental health.

Who Are You Meant to Be? blends new brain science with a century old personality system to show you why most people live in survival using behaviors, thinking patterns and beliefs that keep them there. It introduces the Striving Styles Personality System. It is an easy, yet profound way of understanding what motivates different people and the predominant need that must be satisfied for them to achieve their potential and become who they are meant to be. It differs from other personality typing methods by getting to the heart of what motivates and drives behavior - need satisfaction and the ability to use emotional energy.

For hundreds of years, we have thought about how the brain works incorrectly. We believed our ability to think and use rational thought was the key to our happiness. We know now that the achievement of good mental health lies in our ability to experience and use our emotions. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s groundbreaking research in the neurology of thought and emotion challenged Rene Descartes' long-held rationalist view. In fact, there is some evidence that parts of the rational brain can be removed with much less effect on our personalities and functioning than removal of parts of the emotional brain. This supports Damasio’s argument that Descartes made a profound error in his famous statement “I think therefore I am.” New brain science now shows “I feel therefore I am.”

We now know that it is the emotional brain that motivates and provides energy for behavior. We also know that it is capable of overriding the rational, thinking brain. In the past we have tried to change ourselves without involving our emotions or changing our brains. We believed that change and development was a matter of "using your head" or "common sense". Will power, control and overpowering needs and emotions were promoted as the way to do it. Those who couldn't were judged to be weak and ineffectual. No wonder we kept failing to achieve our potential!

Using the Striving Styles Personality System in my practice, I developed a process of relationship repatterning which shifts the focus onto clients to work harder at building their own self-awareness. By identifying the 8 different Striving Styles and their patterns of behaviour that each style uses to protect themselves and those they use to self-actualize, people are able to practice behaviors to help them make their shift out of survival behaviors. We can never get to a different place in life by using the same behaviors we used to bring us to where we are. This system fast-tracks people to greater self-awareness.

Unfortunately, the approach most people to take to their mental health is a hands-off approach. The tendency is to knowledge of mental and emotional problems in the hands of the experts rather than work on it. It encourages us to eliminate emotions rather than understand ourselves in order to achieve emotional health and happiness. There is growing evidence to support the notion that how you feel and how well you are have as much or more to do with your self-awareness and self-nurturing than it does medical expertise. This is even more obvious with mental health, where psychological diagnosis is subjective and far less clearly defined than for physical health.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D, brings a lifetime of study, “psychological savvy” and hands-on clinical experience to helping people become who they are meant to be. Her interest in creating mental health, coupled with her interest in personality systems and the dynamics of human behavior, has influenced the development of the Striving Styles Personality System.

Holistic Approach to Learning

Driven by a vision for a holistic approach to emotional and physical health, Anne chose educational pursuits that aligned with her passion. At the same time, she studied at mainstream universities such as Ryerson (Business Management), University of Toronto (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Religious Studies) and ADR Institute of Ontario (Alternate Dispute Resolution). Anne looked for training institutes that would help her integrate the cognitive, emotional and physical approaches to healing the mind and body. This education included: receiving her degree as a Registered Massage Therapist; graduating from the International School for Spiritual Sciences (Montreal); psychotherapy certification from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (D.C.T.P); studies at the Masterson Institute for Disorders of the Self (New York); and a Ph.D. in Therapeutic Counseling from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine (WHO).

Committed to lifelong learning, Anne has completed postgraduate programs in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Spiritual Self-Schema Development, Brain and Behavior and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i), and she has been a long-time follower of the work of Carl Jung. Anne continues to stay educated and informed about recent advances in neuroplasticity, brain development, mindfulness and social intelligence.

Executive Coaching & Corporate Therapy

Anne became one of Toronto’s first Executive Coaches in the late 1980’s. She could see the direct application of the therapeutic tools to the corporate world, which drove her to expand her work into that realm. Anne began using the title of corporate therapist to indicate the depth with which she worked with leaders and teams developing emotional intelligence, behavioral competence and relationship skills in organizations. She has also used her unique approach to work through dysfunctional relationships, partnerships, teams and boards.

Prior to starting SKE, Anne built several successful companies including Sage Developmental Resources, an organizational consulting firm focused on behavioral alignment, and the Centre for Mindful Therapies, which offered customized Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs to organizations and individuals. In addition, she worked extensively with Heather on Several global leadership development initiatives for Caliber's clients, providing both individuals coaching and facilitating high performance team development at the executive and senior management levels.

Sought After Writer

A prolific and frequently cited writer on the impact of behavior, emotional intelligence and personality styles in the workplace, Anne has written a series of books on personality type based on Jung’s theory of Psychological Type. The Personality Profile Series© books are used to help individuals in coaching and counseling to understand themselves, their environment, their partners, and their children. Anne's latest series of books, The Jung Typology Series©, focuses on understanding the impact of personality type on employees, teams and leaders.

Anne has been featured in the media — on radio and on television — as well as in a wide range of national and international publications including USA Today, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, The Globe and Mail and Additionally, her work has appeared in three issues of “O” Magazine within the past year, with her article on Striving Styles being included in the “O” Annual as one of the year’s top articles. She has recently been contracted to write for an upcoming issue of “O”.